Tuesday, 2 February 2010

More Misuse of Taxpayers' Money

The poster above should read 'on my side'. Nigel Griffiths, the MP for Edinburgh south, you will recall, was the MP who confessed to having sex, with an unknown woman, in his Westminster office on Remembrance Day. He also claimed for a £3.600 plasma television in his expenses.

He has now decided to stand down at the general election because he has another job as a director of the London International College, an independent not-for-profit organisation, founded in 1974 and offering undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses to foreign students on programmes accredited by Sunderland University.

Under Commons rules, MPs losing their seat at elections are entitled to a winding up allowance and a resettlement grant. Mr Griffiths is eligible for both and his resettlement allowance will amount to £60,000 - the first £30,000 being tax-free.

When he decides to close his constituency office - he owns the building - he will receive the winding up allowance to allow him to pay his staff statutory redundancy payments as well as bonus payments of up to 15% of their salary.

There was no comment from other MPs but Mark Wallace of the TaxPayers' Alliance said his organisation was lobbying for the Commons resettlement grant to be scrapped: "It is unacceptable to give MPs who choose to leave the Commons, or are thrown out by the people, these massive sums of money.

"MPs are well rewarded while they are in office and get a generous pension. These payments make it a triple whammy."

Griffiths will be laughing all the way to the bank and there's nothing the electorate can do about it. How can a man with Griffiths' record be rewarded in this way? Will the tories tackle issues such as this? Sadly I doubt it.


Strathturret said...

I'm not sure I'd listen to the Tax Payers Alliance. Who elected them? I'm a taypayer and they don't represent me. Are they not a Tory party front organisation?

Were they as annoyed about Mckay/Kirkbride, Wintertons etc?

While holding no candle for Griffiths, politics is a precarious profession and some sort of 'redundancy' package is required.

Oldrightie said...

Griffiths will be laughing all the way to the bank and there's nothing the electorate can do about it.

Most of his are too busy signing on, Subrosa.

Strathturret said...


Edinburgh South is pretty prosperous I would say. Use to be safe Tory seat for 40+ years.

Strathturret said...

Correction. Edinburgh South comprising these well known centres of deprivation such as Grange, Morningside, Marchmont, Newington,etc has been Tory since 1918 until Griffith won it 1987.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...


Who pays for the TaxPayers' Alliance?

For an organisation so concerned with transparency, the TaxPayers' Alliance is surprisingly opaque about its own finances. No list of donors is available. It states only that all donations are from private sources and that no single donation accounts for more that 5% of income. But 5% of what? The Alliance's 2006 accounts record an income of £130,000 – up from £68,000 in 2005 – but that seems hardly enough to sustain 10 full-time staff and offices in London and Birmingham. Let's hope those staff are at least paid the minimum wage and claim any tax credits due to them. In 2007 the TPA published "abbreviated" accounts, which meant income and expenditure were withheld.

brownlie said...


Don't attack the messenger, mate. How are the Labour party's finances - any dodgy contributions? Any lords-a-leaping to fill their coffers?

subrosa said...

It doesn't trouble me in the least who/what the taxpayers alliance is as long as the information they provide is accurate.

This information is accurate as far as my research goes.

What should have happened of course he should have been fined a healthy skelp for his disgusting behaviour.

I don't see why, in this day and age, they need a resettlement package. All of them have nice little earners already lined up - as in this case.

A pension which most of us could only dream of is enough.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know which college it was when I wrote my piece, but I hope that they know that he is the kind of man who gets drunk and invites tarts into his office.

I would consider this to be a very bad example to be setting to students. Much worse, in fact, than the example which caused one of our fellow bloggers to be asked to leave his post in Aberdeen.

But then there always was one standard of behaviour for Labour people and one for the rest of us.

I'm pretty sure they will soon find him to be unsatisfactory.

subrosa said...

Labour here in Scotland are getting a little angry OR because so many are suddenly standing down so near to the election.

After his behaviour Edinburgh south is lost to labour. The tories will win it quite easily.

All for the sake of a quickie. Silly fool.

subrosa said...

Labour will lose it Strathturret. The ladies of Edinburgh south will ensure that they all vote tory. None likes to think their MP lacks so much taste.

subrosa said...

Niko, see my comment to Strathturret.

subrosa said...

You have me thinking there brownlie. I wonder if the likes of Griffiths etc will continue as labour party members?

I suppose they will, they need to keep their contacts.

subrosa said...

Yes Tris, it was late last night the name of the college came to light. I know nothing about the reputation of the place but it doesn't do it much good having this type of individual as a director.

I shouldn't think it's only labour MPs who cavort though and to be fair not only males either. Doubt if many are stupid enough to use their Westminster offices though.

Come to think of it, I've heard so many MPs complain their offices are so small they're like cupboards. Must be cosy cupboards.

Strathturret said...

Edinburgh South looks like a 3 way marginal. Liberals were very close to Griffiths last time. Liberal vote in Scotland is falling. Not much Tory bounce evident.

I don't think sexual conduct of previous MP is relevant.

I'm not sure; I could see Labour hanging on if they get a decent candidate. SNP too far back I'm afraid to make an impact.

subrosa said...

It's the women in the constituency who will swing it for the tories Strathturret, although I agree the tories aren't doing nearly as well as they should throughout the country.

Yours is very much a male attitude regarding the sexual behaviour of our political representatives. Women think differently. The man's behaviour was in work time and in a place which is regarded as 'hallowed' by some.

Entirely agree the SNP won't have a look in.

Strathturret said...

Well we do have Mrs Robinson too! Speaking as a man if she was my MP I'd say good luck to her. I'd not be happy about the loans from the property companies though.

I'd have to say I can think of plenty of Tory PMs who have been involved in sexual scandals so I don't see it as a partisan thing. If Griffith stands down then its old news.

I've played around with the numbers on Scotland Votes; it really is close between the three Unionist parties. That area also got a decent Green vote so who knows what effect that might have?

Anonymous said...


What really angered me was that he did it at work, in his office, which I help to pay for. If I did that in a government owned office my feet wouldn't touch the ground. If I were drunk in work, never mind drunk and naked with a tart, I would be sacked.

Even worse the filthy old git did it on Remembrance Day, when he should have been paying his respects to soldiers his buddy Gordon Brown sent to war with inadequate kit.

He's a disgusting old man.

Strathturret said...

There are different rules for politians though aren't there? Clinton was caught with his trousers down in the Oval Office and what happened?

Your MP isn't a wage slave, he/she should be an independent man or woman only answerable to the electors.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I'd call most of them independent in any way. They are lobby fodder. They do what the whips tell them, or the whip tells their wives what they have been up to ... in the office....or on Hampstead Heath or wherever.... with whomsoever....

As far as I'm concerned I pay taxes to upkeep his office for him to work in. Not use as an extention of a brothel.

And I can't see for the life of me why he should be any different from me. Except that I have a better degree or two.

Drunk and naked in the office should mean curtains for him as much as it would for me.

subrosa said...

Since I last answered I've had a look at the figures too Strathturret and it is close with the unionists.

Somehow I think the tories will take it though as long as they get their vote out.

The greens vote may drop slightly with the revelations that we're not doing to blow up the world in the next 20 years.

subrosa said...

The only independent MP I can think of in the past years is Martin Bell Strathturret.

All others 'toe the line' or else.

subrosa said...

Griffiths' behaviour let us see his disrespect for those he serves.

If he'd been found in a brothel in his own time it would have been a different matter.

Poor Mrs Robinson, battered by a male dominated political scene in N Ireland while on of the leaders openly acknowledges he knew, for many years, of child abuse within his close family. He wasn't pilloried in the same way.

Strathturret said...

George Galloway comes to mind. Lets not get into his pecadillos!

My point is that an MP or MSP is not a civil servant with a rule book and a boss. His/her boss is the elector. I'm pretty sure that MP's are classed as self employed by the tax man. So what they do with their secretary in their office is their own business?

I could bore everyone with a long list of politicians who cheated on their wifes. Griffiths won't be the last.

subrosa said...

Griffiths won't be the last by a long chalk Strathturret.

Hopefully those yet to come will be slightly more discreet and sensible when enacting one of their hobbies. :)

Strathturret said...

I'm a bit slow tonight, I should have played my trump card earlier -- the late Robin Cook.

Who had the integrity and courage to walk out of cabinet in protest at Blair's Iraq War --Robin Cook.

The same Robin Cook who a few years before had dumped his wife for his younger secretary.

Now I ask you who do you want as a politician, one of 22 cabinet ministers who are faithful to their wives but did not have the courage or sense to challenge Blair or the one who is unfaithful to his wife but stood out against the Iraq outrage?

subrosa said...

Ah Strathturret, you can't really compare Robin Cook with Griffiths.

Robin Cook was discreet, at least he kept his affair out of the public eye.

Griffiths was ignorant and the very fact that a camera had been placed in his office showed that many others knew his bad habits.

Also, Robin Cook married the woman, albeit after a horrendous divorce in which his wife rightly put the family washing out to dry.

Griffiths dumped his piece like a load of manure.

Strathturret said...

I pinched this from Caledonian Mercury.

Timing is everything in politics and Nigel Griffiths, the Labour MP who announced this week he will not be contesting Edinburgh South this year, just can’t get it right.

As soon as he declared his intention to escape from the voters of the capital, Labour election calendars started dropping through the letterboxes of south Edinburgh.

Mr Griffiths’ beaming face was on the calendar, as well as the message: “Here to help you 365 days a year.”

It also said: “Working all year round, not just at election time.”

Working all round on getting himself a comfortable new job, it seems…

subrosa said...

Ah I knew I'd read that somewhere in the last day or so Strathturret.

Do have a look at LIC's website. Suffice to say 'marketing is all'.


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